After flooding, ‘The Lion King’ returns to stage at the Arsht Center in Miami

The Arsht Center reopened Tuesday to a packed house and dry floors, two days after ceiling leaks washed out one of its most popular shows.

“I’m anxious to see how the performance is going to be,” said Keya Thompson, 35, of Miami Gardens.

She only had to wait a little while. After a 10-minute delay, the Lion King went on, with the crew strutting on stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House, one of two buildings that make up the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Tuesday’s night showing of the Lion King capped a two-day scramble at the county-owned concert hall, which was drenched during the Sunday showing of the Disney musical.

An internal pipe hooked to the roof’s drainage system burst sometime before the second act Sunday, and soon water was gushing from the ceilings and light sockets through the hall’s lobby, walkway and four-story atrium.

Managers stopped the show and evacuated the more than 2,500 audience members, who were forced to slosh through ankle-deep water on their way to the exits.

Clean-up crews working 24 hours a day rushed to get the theater cleaned in time for Tuesday’s show. Three industrial-sized dehumidifiers were posted outside. They were connected to large hoses pumping air out of the hall in an effort to remove moisture from soaked drywall, carpet and other areas left soggy by the internal downpour.

Late Tuesday, there were only a few signs of Sunday’s soggy adventure. Visitors outside the third tier could look up and see streaks of water damage on the ledge jutting out above them.

“We’re ready to go, the house is open,’’ said John Richard, Arsht Center president and CEO. “Over 2,000 people will be here. Some of these people bought tickets over a year ago and are delighted we’re open.”

Read more of this story on The Miami Herald.
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